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BMW X1 in New York heralds U.S. introduction

BMW's X1, its smallest SUV, has enjoyed success in Europe, and now comes to the U.S. It gets its first appearance at the 2012 New York International Auto Show in April.


A few years ago, BMW debuted a new, smaller SUV in Europe, suggesting it would also export the car to the U.S. But the X1 never made it to our shores as demand for the car in its existing markets took up all of its production, and the dollar fell against the Euro.

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Those unfortunate circumstances seem to have changed enough, as BMW will now be showing off the X1 at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. Bringing it to a major U.S. show means one thing: the X1 will hit U.S. dealers as a 2013 model near the end of this year.

The X1 gets minor revisions for the 2013 model year, with other sites reporting turn signals integrated with the side mirrors. As the X1 has only been in production for a few years, it is not due for a major update, and already takes advantage of many newer BMW technologies.

BMW will only make one engine available in the U.S., its 2-liter four-cylinder with direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger. We drove a similar power train in the new BMW 328i recently, and found it more than adequate to motivate a smaller vehicle.

In the X1, which measures about 14.5 feet in length, the engine gets it to 62 mph in about 6.3 seconds. Fuel economy should be a little lower than that of the 328i, probably averaging in the mid- to high 20s.

We will get more details on the U.S.-bound X1 during our coverage of the New York auto show on April 4 and 5.